98 To Richard West [mi
tinue, so I own I wish you would improve or change the beginning: those who know you not so well as I do, would not wait with so much patience for the entrance of Pausanias. You see I am frank; and if I tell you I do not approve of the first part, you may believe me as sincere when I tell you I admire the latter extremely.
My letter has an odd date. You would not expect I should be writing in such a dirty little place as Eeggio; but the fair is charming; and here come all the nobility of Lom-bardy, and all the broken dialects of Genoa, Milan, Venice, Bologna, &c. You never heard such a ridiculous confusion of tongues. All the morning one goes to the fair undressed, as to the walks of Tunbridge ; 'tis just in that manner, with lotteries, raffles, &c. After dinner all the company return in their coaches, and make a kind of corso, with the Ducal family, who go to shops, where you talk to 'em, from thence to the Opera, in mask if you will, and afterwards to the Eidotto. This five nights in the week. Fridays there are masquerades, and Tuesdays balls at the Eivalta, a villa of the Duke's2. In short, one diverts oneself. I pass most part of the Opera in the Duchess's8 box, who is extremely civil to me and extremely agreeable. A daughter of the Eegent's4, that could please him, must be so. She is not young, though still handsome, but fat; but has given up her gallantries cheerfully, and in time, and lives easily with a dull husband, two dull sisters of his, and a dull court. These two princesses are wofully ugly, old maids and rich. They might have been married often; but the old Duke6 was whimsical and proud, and never would consent to any match for them, but left them much money, and pensions of three thousand pounds a year a-piece. There was a design
2 Francis HI of Este, Duke of 4 Philip, Duke of Orleans. Eegenfc Modena (1737-1780). of France ; d. 1723.
3 Charlotte Agla<§ of Orleans, ° Einaldo of Este, Duke of Modena Duchess of Modena ; d. 1761. (1694-1737).